George Clooney squeezed my arm a few times at the nominee luncheon. Then he asked me where the bar was. That was pretty exciting.
AWN Oscar Tour Travelogue
Someone called me when I had friends over for dinner. It was someone who speaks English. I needed time to switch my brain in the English mode, but I understood: “…academy… motion picture…. Congratulations!!!” So I answered, “Yes ?! Thank you!” But I didn’t really understand what it was all about.
I was approached by a conductor, Mark Stephenson (who went on to be our Music Director on the film, and conducted the world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall) who had heard about the awards that I had picked up at film school, and he asked me if I had ever thought about doing films with live music.
The studio was crammed with interesting bits of artistry that clearly pulled in influences from a broad base of culture — art, theatre and film. Amidst the puppets, props, collage assemblages, posters and paraphernalia, I remember one sign that they had up on the wall, that said something like, “an impossible task, a tight budget and a crazy deadline are the mothers of invention”. No doubt, a little spirit catcher for stray producers.
After a year of experience behind me, I feel this year’s travelogue will be even more comprehensive and complete than last year’s edition. I hope you enjoy the glimpse behind-the-scenes of what the Oscar nominees’ lead up to the big night is really like.
Seeing the pictures from the Oscar Showcase tour is a great way to convey all the events that took place. Here are some more shots from Ron from William Morris, the AWN/Acme Oscar party, Sony Animation and CAA.
I had an opportunity to chat with Bee Movie director Steve Hickner. He told me that working with Jerry Seinfeld has been a great pleasure and that it’s a project he is not looking forward to ending.
When it came time for the Q&A, many of the Sony artists had some of the same questions as the other studios like whether Geza Toth’s single camera move was intended from the start, which it was, and how Roger and Don Hahn convinced Disney to go with the sad ending on Little Matchgirl, which was by waiting until Michael Eisner had left the studio.
Animation (thank God) remains the last bastion of the individual artist. It is still possible to make a film with little money and a few dedicated friends and supporters and have that film stand toe-to-toe with the productions made by the major studios.
Here it is the long awaited gallery of select pics from Ron’s camera from the Oscar Showcase tour’s swing by DreamWorks, Fox, the Academy, Disney and ICM. There’s also a couple special pics at the end courtesy of No Time for Nuts director Mike Thurmeier.
I’ve been to two previous Oscar functions at the Canadian consulate general’s beautiful house in Hancock Park and couldn’t pass up the chance to go again. The luncheon took place in the lovely courtyard in back by the pool. They were prepared for the rain and had tents and heaters set up, making it comfortable on the rainy L.A. day.
Officially one week of the Oscar Tour is up and we’re nearing the home stretch. Today was less crazed than yesterday, but still wonderfully eventful nonetheless.
As we arrived back at The Little Theater for the screening, Ron introduced all the nominees to Vanessa Morrison, the new president of Fox Animation. It seems to me this screening will be hard to top. Tomorrow is yet another busy day with a screening at Disney and our first agency screening at ICM, which will be very interesting.
While you wait for more details from the San Fran leg of the tour. Here’s some more pics to check out from Skywalker Ranch and Pixar, courtesy of Ron.
Ron and I snapped quite a few pictures during the San Fran leg of the tour. Here’s a gallery of some of the pics that Ron took. Keep checking back for more exclusive photos from the Oscar Tour.
We also got to see the foley stage where they were working on Clone Wars, but that too is top secret and we were foiled yet again at seeing something that no one else has seen before. We went down on the stage and talked with the foley artists.
After the screening the nominees received a nice gift bag with games and various other shwag as well as a chance to tour The Sims floor where many of the animators were hard at work in their cubicles, decorated with unique individual personality.
In talking about the making of the film, Mike told us that the home entertainment department at Fox funded No Time for Nuts as supplemental material for the Ice Age 2 DVD. Mike’s use of the term “noise” succinctly summed up the home entertainment division’s thoughts on supplemental material.
I’m excited to meet everyone and anxious to share the entire goings on with you as soon as I can. Check back for updates as the week progresses. Now off to San Fran — EA, PDI/DreamWorks, ILM, Pixar… and Skywalker Ranch await!
Allers, who wasn’t even awake when the nominations were announced, doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who makes films to win awards, however, I still wanted to find out what the Oscar experience has been like for him as well as his feelings about making Matchgirl and his other work.
I really enjoyed 9 and I look forward to seeing the feature, which looks to be something potential unique in the world of 3D animation. As for his Oscar experience, this is what the talented young animator had to say...
As a precursor to the tour, I had a chance to talk with Little Matchgirl producer Don Hahn about what the Oscar experience has been like thus far. He’s not an Oscar newbie by any stretch, having been nominated for producing Beauty and the Beast and the animated short Lorenzo. He was also behind mega-hits such as The Lion King and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.